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North Macedonia secretly trains first group of Ukrainian soldiers

by Martin Fornusek November 22, 2023 4:59 PM 1 min read
The North Macedonian military at the "30 Years of the Army" ceremony on Aug. 18, 2022. Illustrative purposes only. (North Macedonian Defense Ministry)
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North Macedonia completed the training of the first group of Ukrainian soldiers, a process kept confidential until now for security reasons, Balkan Insight reported on Nov. 22, citing the country's Defense Minister Slavjanka Petrovska.

The Balkan country will continue the training throughout 2024 and "for as long as there is a need for it," Petrovska said in a comment for the national broadcaster Macedonian Television on Nov. 22.

The minister said that the instructions took place in facilities owned by the North Macedonian military, but she did not clarify the type of training or the number of Ukrainian soldiers that went through it.

A NATO member since 2020, North Macedonia has provided Ukraine with a number of Soviet-era military hardware as it is restocking with Western equipment. The supplied aid includes four Su-25 aircraft, T-72 tanks, small arms, munitions, and other support.

The country's government also reportedly approved the provision of combat helicopters earlier this year.

Over 100,000 Ukrainian soldiers have already received training in partner countries since the start of the full-scale invasion, the General Staff of Ukraine's Armed Forces said on Nov. 21.

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